Thursday, 28 February 2013

NanoViricides armed with $18 mln of cash after retirement of Series C preferred stock

NanoViricides (OTCBB: NNVC) says it has retired the remainder of its Series C convertible preferred stock previously purchased by Seaside 88 with a cash payment, and said it holds around $18 million of cash in hand following the transaction. 
The drug developer believes that these funds are sufficient, it said, for more than two years of operating expenses, and to advance its anti-flu drugs into initial human clinical trials. 
The deal with Seaside 8 was done through a mutual agreement, NanoViricides added. 
Shares of the company rose almost 10% in early deals Thursday, to 48.3 cents. 
"We have been very happy with the strong financial support that Seaside has provided to the company," said chairman Anil R. Diwan, adding that Seaside has invested a total of $25 million into the company over the past few years. 
"Their funding has allowed us to focus on drug development without any fund-raising distractions. We have been able to advance our influenza drug pipeline with the use of this financing. Further, we have been able to obtain sufficient capital to fund our upcoming studies through IND filing and initial human clinical trials."
NanoViricides recently sold $6 million of its Series B convertible debentures to three family investment offices and a charitable foundation, and as a result, determined that the retirement of its preferred Series C stock was in the best interests of its shareholders. 
Around $2 million of the $6 million it raised was used to retire the Series C shares, it added. 
The news, which was announced late Wednesday, came just a day after the company announced that the renovation of the facility for its new clinical-scale cGMP production plant has begun.
The company said Tuesday it reached “a new milestone” with the start-up of the renovation of its cGMP (current good manufacturing practice) facility, which is being designed to produce sufficient quantities of the drugs needed for human clinical trials that will test various nanoviricide drug candidates as they advance into the clinical pipeline.
NanoViricides' injectable anti-flu drug, NV-INF-1, is intended for use in hospitalized patients with the flu. The company said it believes it will be useable in immuno-compromised populations, and may receive an orphan drug classification for this indication. 
According to the drug maker, its oral anti-influenza drug candidate, NV-INF-2, may be the first ever nanomedicine drug of any kind that is active when administered orally. This drug is being developed for out-patient influenza cases, and may also be useful for the protection of health care workers.
Both drugs in its FluCide program have shown “very high effectiveness” in preclinical animal studies, NanoViricidesnoted, routinely showing substantial superiority to Tamiflu, the current standard of care. 
The FluCide drugs are intended for use against most types of flu viruses, including H1N1 or the “swine flu”, H3N2, novel strain, and bird flu. 
The drugs are based on NanoViricides' biomimetic technology, which mimicks the natural sialic acid receptors for the influenza virus on the surface of a nanoviricide polymeric micelle. The company noted that all flu viruses bind to the sialic acid receptors, even if they rapidly mutate. 
Including the FluCide program, the company said it currently has six commercially important drug candidates in its pipeline that together address a market size greater than $40 billion. Those include drugs for use against HIV, viral eye diseases, Herpes, and Dengue viruses.

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